“Have you told your parents anything about me?” Acadia asked as she and Chris stood outside his door.
“Cadie, I just met you today. When would I have time to tell them? I was too busy following up on suspicions,” he reminded her. “But I’ll tell them now.”
She rolled her eyes. “Like that’ll do any good,” she said under her breath.
Chris pretended not to have heard her and opened the door. “Mom, dad, Dharma, I have someone I want you to meet,” he called, pulling Acadia in behind him.
She shyly looked around him. Chris had gotten his looks from his father. They were both tall and well built, with the same blonde hair and bright blue eyes. But it was his mother that had the same warm smile that immediately made Acadia feel at ease.
“Chris, don’t leave the poor girl there standing awkwardly,” his mom chided. “I’m Shayna, this is Chris’ father, Taylor, and his sister, Dharma,” she said, motioning toward a slender girl with long blonde hair and dark brown highlights sitting on the couch.
“This is Cadie,” Chris introduced. “She’s like us,” he said, a smile playing on his face.
Taylor looked at Acadia with renewed interest. “How’d he figure that out? He’s usually a bit slow,” he joked.
Acadia smiled, beginning to feel more comfortable. “I got a little careless this morning,” she admitted. “He watched me fly to my jeep and found my handprints left on his bumper when I moved his truck.”
“Well, we’re all a bit careless when we’re young,” he chuckled, pulling his wife closer and planting a kiss on the top of her head.
“So how long have you lived here, Cadie?” Shayna asked.
“Seven years,” she replied with a smile.
“Where before that?” Chris asked.
“We can all bombard her with questions after we let her sit,” Dharma called from the couch. Chris nodded and led Acadia to the leather couch.
“So where were you born?” he repeated.
“Not on this planet,” she confessed sheepishly. “It’s a long story how my mom and I came here.”
The family looked at her expectantly and she took a deep breath. “I’m from a planet called Vanaheim. My father is the great General Rhondor, and the king’s right hand man. My mother is an exiled Amazon from Olympus. She and her friend, Drew, were exiled for helping men. They came to Vanaheim as refugees, where my father fell in love with them both. They were married, and my mother had me, and Drew had my half-sister, Caylis.”
“Your dad has two wives?” Dharma asked incredulously.
Acadia nodded. “I know it seems strange here, but it’s actually normal on Vanaheim. The king has three wives,” she said nonchalantly.
Shayna nodded. “So why is it just you and your mom here?”
“That is where it gets complicated,” Acadia said with a shrug. “The queen of Olympus, Hippolyta, was angry when she found out about Gwen and Drew, and she allied with the female army of dark elves on Svartalheim and invaded Vanaheim to take revenge on Gwen and Drew. That’s why we had to leave. My sister and Drew went to Asgard and we came here,” she finished.
“Is it safe for you to go back?” Taylor asked.
Acadia sighed. “My sister visited today and said it was, but I don’t remember much of Vanaheim. Earth has been my home for seven years, and I’m not completely sure I want to go back.”
“Don’t you miss your dad and the rest of your family?” Dharma asked.
Acadia bit her lip and nodded. “More than you can imagine. I have no way of contacting them, and since neither my mom or I can walk through Yggdrasil, we can’t go home unless someone from Vanaheim comes for us.”
“That’s so sad,” Dharma said softly.
Acadia nodded again and tried not to cry. Dharma reached across the couch and put one hand on her knee. After a second, Acadia looked up, suddenly feeling better.
“I change people’s moods,” Dharma explained with a shrug. “It’s really only to change bad moods, feelings, and thoughts to good ones.”
“That’s really cool,” Acadia said with a smile. “On Vanaheim, only a few people can do that. But everyone there is gifted in what you call magic, and we can all tell the future. Some of us also have other gifts, as well.”
“So what else can you do?” Taylor asked.
“I’d tell you, but then I’d have to kill you,” she replied with a smile. “It’s a family rule that we don’t share our powers with others. Since my mom is an Amazon, I can do things that many others on my planet can’t, and if they knew the extent of what I could do, I’d be used for others to gain power,” she explained to the confused faces.
“That’s a good reason to keep your powers a secret,” Shayna said. “Does your mom know about us?”
Acadia shook her head. “Not yet. Today turned out…differently from what we had planned,” she confessed. “We were supposed to have a birthday celebration, Vanaheim style, but then my sister showed up and upset things.”
“What’d she do?” Chris asked, leaning forward, concern in his eyes.
Acadia sighed. “It was just a shock seeing her after seven years, and she wants me to uproot my life here and go back to Vanaheim with her, but I’m not completely sure I want to. I miss my family and friends there, but I love the life I have here, too.”
The room stayed silent until Acadia’s phone began to ring. It was her mom.
“I have to go, my mom’s looking for me,” she said apologetically. “It was nice to meet all of you, though.”
The family rose as one, and walked her back to the kitchen.
“I’ll walk you up,” Chris offered, opening the door for her.
Acadia smiled and nodded, following him out of the apartment. “I like your family,” she told him as the door closed behind them.
“They can be a mess at times, but they’re nice to have around,” he replied, intertwining his fingers with hers.
Acadia laughed. “I wouldn’t really know,” she said softly as they walked into the elevator.
The two remained silent for a few slightly awkward seconds before the elevator chimed, announcing the arrival to her floor.
“So do you still need a ride to school tomorrow or will your truck be working?” she asked as they arrived at her door.
Chris shrugged. “It depends on if someone tampers with her again,” he replied as he nudged her shoulder with his.
“I have no idea what you’re talking about,” she said, feigning innocence.
He smiled and rolled his eyes.
She laughed at his reaction. “So today was great, and I liked meeting your family, and I’m glad we can be completely honest with each other about who we really are. It’s such a…”
Chris leaned forward and gently kissed her, cutting off her sentence. When Acadia reopened her eyes, he smiled again and disappeared into the elevator.